Maduro regime expels top EU envoy from Venezuela
UPDATED 8:47 AM PT – Thursday, February 25, 2021
The Venezuelan government has expelled a top European diplomat over a new round of sanctions against the Maduro regime. On Wednesday, the head of the European Union delegation to Venezuela, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, was ordered to leave the country over her opposition.
The move came after the EU blacklisted 19 Venezuelan officials who have been implicated in corruption, drug trafficking and violations of human rights. Those officials had their foreign assets frozen and were barred from traveling to the EU.
We welcome the EU’s announcement today of sanctions on Maduro regime members who undermined democracy or committed human rights abuses. This is a clear, powerful and concrete message that the world is united in calling for a return to democracy in Venezuela. https://t.co/JTuxPqYKNX
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) February 22, 2021
Regime officials tried to justify their decision under international law.
“Today, by decision of President Nicolas Maduro, we have delivered in Isabel Brilhante’s hands, who in recent years was the head of the European Union delegation in Venezuela, the declaration as persona non grata,” announced Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. “According to the Vienna convention, regarding diplomatic relations, she has been given a 72-hour deadline to leave the Venezuelan territory.”
Venezuela has continued to experience a severe political and economic crisis with opposition leader Juan Guaido working to peacefully remove Maduro from power.